Animal bites of all sorts are prone to infection, typically due to the large number of bacteria that lives within their mouths.
Dogs are no exception. In fact, capnocytophaga bacteria is a well-known cause of infection that can actually lead to fatal complications if left untreated.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looks at capnocytophaga infections. These infections typically occur in dog bite injury victims who do not get the bite cleaned and treated by a doctor from the early stages.
At the start, a capnocytophaga infection will look much like any other. It typically involves redness or swelling around the bite injury itself. The skin will feel tender and painful to the touch, with this pain increasing as the infection worsens.
In later stages, victims may feel as though they are suffering from a cold or flu. They could experience fever, chills, full body aches and more. They might experience nausea or vomiting as well.
If left untreated at this point, the infection could develop into something much worse. Some people may experience gangrene of the infected area, resulting in necrosis and tissue death. This can even necessitate amputation depending on the infection’s severity and location.
In other cases, it could lead to sepsis, a potentially fatal blood infection that can potentially cause death in its victims in days, if it takes the form of septic shock.
Thus, it is abundantly clear that early treatment of the bite itself is the best way to reduce the risk of complications and even potential fatalities later down the line.